Clyst Vale Community College celebrated success at the National 10-a-side Under 15 Contact Rugby Competition on Saturday 27 April. The squad of 11, made up from students in Years 9 and 10, travelled to London on the Friday evening, staying overnight before an early start on the Saturday morning.
Clyst Vale, one of two representatives from the South West region, were placed in a group with strong opposition from five other schools, with the top two playing against the respective winners of the other pool of six teams at Twickenham.
The group stage took place at nearby Staines RFC during the morning, and Clyst Vale won their group with a record of four wins and a draw:
CVCC 10-0 Dene School (Newcastle)
CVCC 5-5 Sir John Leaman School (Staffordshire)
CVCC 15-0 St Johns School (Southampton)
CVCC 10-0 Perins School (Wiltshire)
CVCC 10-0 Honeywood School (Essex)
This meant they topped the pool and had the opportunity to play on the hallowed Twickenham turf at half time of the Army v Navy match which attracted a record crowd of 74,000.
Luckily the large crowd did not deter the girls from earning the title of Under 15 National 10’s Contact Rugby winners. The 15 – 5 win in the final came against Range School from Manchester. This school had previously won all their pool games without being tested.
All the girls were magnificent in victory, underlining the hard work which is going into girls’ rugby both at school and at local club level. The girls have being playing contact rugby since Year 7, the first year at secondary school, and all of the squad representing the College play for Exeter Saracens RFC girls’ section, which have sides at U13, U15 and U18 level.
Squad: Kelsea Purchall (capt), Ailise Stack, Izzy Farnsworth, Ciara Burden, Hannah Gregory, Molly Baker, Anna Thurley, Courtney Sellick, Jamie Bell, Annalise Cocking and Bella Luke.
One of our former players, Abbie Brown, went on to study and play at Hartpury College in Gloucester and now plays in their high level academy programme. To add to this, five members of the current U15 squad play for Devon, with two going on to represent the South West Region.